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   Re: [xml-dev] What does SOAP really add?

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[Dare Obasanjo]

> This is the same conclusion I came to but decided that it wasn't a good
enough answer because it really doesn't justify the "web" in web services.
From your point of view (and mine, I guess)  SOAP adds better interop than
existing distributed computing (RPC/message-based) solutions by eliminating
many of the complexities (no pass by ref for example ) and being amenable to
many off-the-shelf tools because it uses XML.
> However, although I see it being likely that many intranet or similarly
closed-network applications may begin to utilize SOAP and its family of
related technologies instead of DCOM/CORBA/RMI etc. I'm not sure if there
really is much applicability to the World Wide Web that isn't toy
applications or even worse poor utilizations of the web.

Even if you dislike the current SOAP/Web services thrust (as I tend to do),
you have to agree that Microsoft has really done some remarkable work in
.Net Studio.  Things can be so easy to get going - if you do things their
way using their models, that is.  Write some class that computes what you
want to produce.  Turn that into a "Web Service" - nothing to it, and your
wsdl and related files are automatically created (with GET and POST
versions, no less).

Create a "Web Client" and automatically its lead class knows how to talk to
your server class, based on the wdsl file.  Instantiate an instance of the
server class in your "form" or "client" when it loads.  Call methods on the
server object as if it were an ordinary local object.

It's astonishing how easy it can be and how much plumbing behind the scenes
is handled automatically for you.  I can definitely see a lot of people
building applications with this system, and as with VB, not even putting a
lot of thought into what they are doing.

Deviate from the Microsoft way, though, and you may run into trouble.  For
example, try to build a web client that POSTs to a non-.net service that
returns a text or html response.  I don't think you can do it - the service
has to return xml so far as I can tell.

I discovered an interesting anomaly by building a little toy service and
trying it out on Netscape and Mozilla as well as on Internet Explorer.  It
had colored backgrounds for the submit button and a text label.  Guess what?
No colored button or label in NS or Mozilla, but IE had them.  The .NET
framework actually used different CSS instructions for NS and Moz that
omitted the color settings!

Hmm, bug or "feature"?


Tom P


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